Thursday, August 28, 2014

Inside old Motorola (Symbol) AP-5131 access point

I found couple Motorola AP-5131 802.11a/g access points today. It's old design from Symbol Technologies dating back to 2005 with manufacturing date from 2010.


Looks like those APs had very decent design and hardware specs, especially for something that old. It's running MontaVista Linux with kernel 2.4.30. Intel Xscale 425 at 266MHz, 64MB RAM, 64MB flash, 2MB bootflash, two 100Mbit/s Ethernet interfaces (Altima AC101L MII PHY), 802.3af PoE support and two minipci slots. WLAN is rare Intersil / Conexant GW3888.

Bootloader is something custom Symbol built. With JTAG pins on board, what overall seems like reference design from Intel just in different shape, it should be fairly easy to run OpenWrt on this. Figure out how GPIO are mapped, replace bootloader with RedBoot and that's about it. Stock bootloader might be fine as well, haven't really looked as this is old and there's only two of them so not really that interested myself. Especially since there's no drivers for WLAN.

Top side

Bottom side

Intel Xscale IXP425 CPU

2 * 32MiB RAM

64MiB NAND flash for OS

2MiB NAND flash for bootloader

Intersil / Conexant GW3888 based WLAN

Intersil ISL3692 radio

Complete set of images here.

Win95 / NT4 / 2000 / XP drivers for WLAN card are available from Microsoft. Some ancient FreeBSD drivers claim to support ISL3888 (which is same as GW3888), but I have some doubts if that's actually true. Intersil / Conexant codename for 3888 is "Isotope", this was on Motorola / Symbol AP-300 release notes as apparently AP-300 was upgraded from regular Prism54 to "Isotope" at some point.


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